Last week I sat down with Scott Ian Lewis of Carnifex during their Seattle stop on the bands headlining tour across North America. This was the bands first headlining tour since 2015 so it was great to have a chance to chat. Afterward, I covered the show so make sure to check that coverage out here. Now onto the interview.
Patrick Burt: The last time we got to see you headline was back in 2015 during the Decade of Despair tour. How has this tour been different from past headliner tours?
Scott Ian Lewis : I feel that this is the first headline tour that we have had really strong support. Not to disparage any bands we have had toured with in the states previously. Just touring with more established bands like Despised Icon and Fallujah has helped since they tour often and have had recent records come out.
I have seen videos from the tour on social media sites. You guys are doing a cover of Slipknot’s song “The Heretic Anthem”. How did you decide to cover this song?
We just kind of decided that since we are headlining and we get to play a little bit longer that it would be cool to have some fun and play a cover. So we all said why don’t we play “The Heretic Anthem” since everybody knows that song. Plus it is really fun to play and how can you not have a good time yelling six six six you know? That’s about it. We just decided let’s have a good time. Plus we hadn’t played a cover live before and we wanted people to have a good time with it.
I’ve seen you’ve also covered Slayer’s “Angel Of Death“. Have you thought about playing that live?
I don’t think we will play that one live. You’d be surprised to know how many people don’t know that song honestly. I have actually talked to a lot of people who thought that “Angel Of Death” was our song because they heard that cover. I’m usually like have you never heard of Slayer? I even had a guy in Austin, Texas tell me he liked our new six six six song we played. I was like thanks man, It’s actually a Slipknot song. I even announce that it is a cover before we play it live each night.
On your latest album “Slow Death” it seemed like you used a little bit more black metal influence. Are you guys wanting to do more with that?
Yeah we used a bit more of that sound. We didn’t just starting listening to black metal or anything. I think what people are hearing is a different way for us to articulate the influences we’ve always had and work it into a song in a way we think works well. None of us in the band are musically educated. None of us have a degree in it music or anything. Shawn (drummer) never even had a drum lesson. When we first started out we were just a bunch of 21 year old kids just learning to make noise. I think what people are hearing is us learning to become better musicians. With our last two albums “Die Without Hope” and “Slow Death” people can really hear our influences more as we have recorded songs and albums in real time and have been able to articulate it better.
With “Slow Death” having been recently released, are you guys already thinking ahead to the next album? Or are you just going to tour in support of “Slow Death” for a while?
I would say all of the above really. My first thoughts on a new album are a bit more conceptual like what is the theme of the album? What is the tone of the album? So I am working on that right now. We aren’t even at riffs yet, mainly just big strokes of asking ourselves what is this album going to be about? What is the story and thesis for this album? Not to say that it is going to have a linear narrative but more of the what are you going to walk away from this album thinking. So for right now we are in that phase. So for me between “Die Without Hope” and “Slow Death” we waited 28 months. Which we basically got told we were crazy for waiting that long because “Die Without Hope” sold really well and we kept getting told by people “You’ve got to put out another album quick!”. And we were more like “Eh, we are slow writers”. So I think with that the next album could be out in three years or so. We do a lot of touring and we don’t write on the road. And when we do write.. we write, re-write and write again quite a bit. So it’s just a long process for us and that’s how that works. Unless we don’t do a full length and do like an EP or something. We’re not going to Tool everyone and wait like another 5 or 6 years or something.
Speaking of Tool. I read that A Perfect Circle is supposed to put out a new album before we even get a new Tool one. Which is ridiculous since we have been teased and waiting for a new one for 11 years.
I think they are going to do a secret album. Put it out when no one is expecting it. That’s the new thing now. Avenged Sevenfold did it and I think Tool is going to do it.
Thank you for your time Scott!